upgrading your mind

Happy Saturday, sweet readers!

Did everyone survive yesterday? Or did you even realize it was Friday 13th?

Honestly, I didn’t remember until around noon yesterday. To quote the great Michael Scott, “I’m not superstitious, but I am a little stitious.” In other words, I didn’t wake up and begin anxiously awaiting doom around every corner, but, once I did remember what day it was…I kept an eye open. It’s only human nature.

Anyway, let’s get on with everything this week’s Psychology Around the Net has to offer which includes science-backed ways to boost creativity, how to manage katagelophobia (the phobia of embarrassment), the connection between polycystic ovary syndrome and mental health problems in women, and more.

The Science of Well-Being: “The Science of Well-Being,” one of the most popular classes at Yale University with an estimated enrollment of 1,200 students per semester, is now available online — for free. Taught by Professor Laurie Santos, “The Science of Well-Being” is designed to “not only learn what psychological research says about what makes us happy but also to put those strategies into practice.”

Fear of Embarrassment Holding You Back? Here’s How to Overcome It: Katagelophobia, the fear of embarrassment or being ridiculed, is a fairly common phobia and unfortunately keeps many of us from pursing our interests whether they’re related to relationships, jobs, or even just hanging out with friends and meeting new people. Now, thanks to a study out of Carnegie Mellon University published in Motivation and Emotion, we can try out a little mental exercise to help gain a bit more control over katagelophobia.

Gynecologic Condition Tied to Mental Health Issues: Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common condition among young women today, and now a new study suggests that women with PCOS could be at an increased risk for mental health problems such as depression, bipolar disorder, and anxiety. Additionally, the study found children of mothers who have PCOS could be at a higher risk for developing autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Mariah Carey: My Battle with Bipolar Disorder: Singer Mariah Carey is one of the many celebrities who’ve recently opened up about their mental health issues. During an exclusive interview with People, Carey stated that after she didn’t want to believe her bipolar disorder diagnosis back in 2001, but has finally sought treatment that works for her — a blend of medication and therapy — and isn’t hiding anymore: “Until recently I lived in denial and isolation and in constant fear someone would expose me. It was too heavy a burden to carry and I simply couldn’t do that anymore. I sought and received treatment, I put positive people around me and I got back to doing what I love — writing songs and making music.” Following her reveal, the superstar announced she’s planning a memoir.

5 Science-Backed Ways to Boost Your Creativity: Plus, how a team of scientists are zapping certain parts of the brain to stimulate the area and make creative thinking easier.

Just One Night of Bad Sleep Increases Alzheimer’s Protein: Researchers at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) have discovered that even a single night of sleep deprivation immediately increases levels of beta-amyloid — the sticky protein that builds up between brain cells and forms plaques that disrupt brain cell communication and is believed to play a role in Alzheimer’s disease.